Cleo Smith is found ALIVE in locked house by cops who arrest man after four-year-old vanished 18 days ago

Cleo Smith is found ALIVE in locked house by cops who arrest man after four-year-old vanished 18 days ago

November 2, 2021

CLEO Smith has been FOUND alive and well in a locked house after weeks of frantic searching for the tot as police arrested a man over her disappearance.

The four-year-old vanished 18 days ago from her tent at the Blowholes campground site in Western Australia, where she had been staying with her parents – sparking a nationwide search.


After weeks of desperate searching in the Outback, the little girl was found in a room inside a locked house.

Western Australia Police confirmed tonight that cops broke their way into a locked property in Carnarvon, Western Australia around 1am.

The tot was found by a group of officers and she told them: "My name is Cleo."

Little Cleo has now been reunited with her family after a heartbreaking 18 days.

Police confirmed the four-year-old was found alive and well – which was the "outcome we prayed for."

A man is currently being questioned by detectives, police said.

Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said in a statement this evening: "It’s my privilege to announce that in the early hours of this morning, the Western Australia Police Force rescued Cleo Smith.

"Cleo is alive and well.

"A police team broke their way into a locked house in Carnarvon about 1am.

"They found little Cleo in one of the rooms."

He revealed that one of the officers picked the four-year-old girl up in his arms, before asking what her name was.

The tot, who police and civilians in Australia have been desperately looking for, replied: "My name is Cleo."

'MY NAME IS CLEO'

Commissioner Blanch added: "Cleo was reunited with her parents a short time later.

"This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for.

"It’s the outcome we’ve achieved because of some incredible police work.

"I want to thank Cleo’s parents, the Western Australian community and the many volunteers.

"And of course, I want to thank my colleagues in the Western Australia Police Force.

"I can confirm we have a man from Carnarvon in custody who is currently being questioned by detectives.

"We’ll have more to say on the rescue of Cleo as the day unfolds.

"For now – Welcome home Cleo."

FOUND ALIVE AND WELL

Just days ago, it was reported that police were close to cracking the missing child case as officers were seen probing the family home for a third time.

Dubbed the 'Aussie Maddie McCann,' cops launched a desperate hunt for the child after she went missing from the remote campsite in her pink pyjamas.

Her mum Ellie last saw her at 1.30am when she gave her a drink of water, and then her and her partner Jake Gliddon awoke to find the tot missing – sparking a frantic search.

Despite having a more fortunate ending compared to missing Maddie McCann, Cleo's disappearance sent shockwaves through the community in Australia.

The police were called around three hours after she was found to be missing as the family had hoped the girl was just hiding nearby – searching the area with other campers.

Police were searching rugged terrain near the remote campsite for the missing girl and said they had "grave concerns for Cleo’s safety".

Authorities previously also offered a $1m reward for information leading to Cleo’s location.



Just yesterday, the police said: "Police investigating the disappearance of four-year-old Cleo Smith continue to leave no stone unturned.

"As part of the investigation, officers collected more than 50 cubic metres of rubbish from roadside bins as far north as Minilya to as far south as Geraldton.

"The rubbish was packed into two trucks and transported to Perth, where four forensics officers and 20 officers spent two days sorting through hundreds of bags, in an effort to find any items that may assist in the investigation."

During the 18 days she was missing, Cleo Smith's best friend pleaded for the "abducted toddler" to come home because "she needs to stay with her family".

Tot Lenaya "Naya" Forbes posed beside a drawing she made for her pal who had vanished.

"I still miss her," little Naya told 7News. "And I reckon she got taken from the tent.

"I still miss her cause she's lost and I want her to come back."

Meanwhile, a Madeleine McCann top cop Jim Gamble previously said Cleo Smith likely would have known her abductor who may be someone who was following the family ahead of their trip.

REUNITED WITH HER FAMILY

Mr Gamble – who was the senior child protection officer in the UK investigation into the Maddie case – explained the chance of the girl being taken away silently by a total stranger in the middle of the night was low.

The top cop also added the "pivotal point" of the case was the fact her sleeping bag was missing from the campsite.

He explained you would expect the bag to be left in the tent if little Cleo had wandered off alone.

"On a campsite you can hear a pin drop in the middle of the night," Mr Gamble told The Sun Online.

"If you drag out a child – even if they have their sleeping bag over their head – the child will begin to scream.

"To get the child out of the tent without drawing any attention is a really difficult thing to do."

He explained: "If it is someone they know – and potentially trust – a child would be much more compliant.

"If a child is shocked out of their sleep by movement by someone they don't know they are much more likely to cry out – no question."

Police are currently questioning a man who is in their custody.




More to follow…

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